EGLK -> Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (LFPG)
Loaded up with locally sourced ales and treats, I’m ready for the off. Taxying out to line up on the runway, there’s a sense of deja vu. Its probably to do with the appalling weather. Apparently the Met office have called it “Storm Brian” - storm in a teacup more like.
Haven’t we been here before
Increasing the throttles slowly, we started rolling down the runway. I was ready to correct the swing when the tail came up, but I wasn’t ready for the violent kite into the wind. 30 seconds into the flight and the DC-3 was already trying to kill me. I guess the crosswind was greater than I thought.
A bit of left stick and rudder and I managed to get her back onto the hard stuff. The undergrowth still hadn’t been cleared and I hoped it wasn’t going to snag anything. Slowly I gained altitude avoiding the trees and anything sharp. That was an ugly takeoff.
Not one for the purists
I’d spent a bit of time reading the release notes and the workarounds for the autopilot. I’d dialled in Midhurst VOR/DME/“radio thing” and got a heading and distance. Clicking on the autopilot and having a fiddle with the rudder trim (auto pilot workaround) I turned onto the correct heading and the numbers started to tick down. Result! Look at me, I can do this pilotty stuff.
The filthy weather was a lot thicker than expected and the cloud tops were up around 10,000ft. I’d planned on 6,000ft so I could check my navigation, but there was little opportunity through the murk.
Switching to Seaford VOR, I turned and headed for what should be the coast. Still no break in the cloud to check. I’d dialled in the VOR at Dieppe on N2 and was picking that up and waited for the needle to swing onto the heading.
The time ticked on and I was starting to get worried and began to doubt myself. It was a quite a few minutes after when I expected, before the needle finally swung round. I think I let out a little cheer.
Finally the cloud broke and I could see I’d crossed the coast.
See you in a few weeks/months
Eventually the French coast came into sight. Checking the map, I was slightly north of track. Not bad.
“Enemy coast ahead, skipper” - Dieppe in the background
The next 60 miles passed without incident. Again I started to wonder if I’d got the nav right. I’d dialled in Charles De Gaulle VOR, but there was no DME so was on the stopwatch. The speed was slower than I’d planned by around 10mph, which was helping with the doubt. Even though I could clearly see Paris and knew the approximate location was correct, I was very relieved to see the airport.
There’s was a just a bit of crosswind as I lined up on the runway to try and complicate things.
Touchdown was firm and I immediately vacated the runway, I’m not sure ATC meant me to use the grass, I blame the wind.
Leg one done.
The positives are that there was no checking of the in game map. I can do the nav, though I need to have a bit more confidence with it.
I must check the weather before departure!!